“Island of the Gods” is another name for Bali. It is a place where spirituality and culture blend in an absolutely enchanting way. This Indonesian paradise is famous for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant arts scene. But, it’s the island’s temples that offer a alluring glimpse into its rich cultural heritage. Temples in Bali, Indonesia are not just places of worship. They are living testaments to the island’s unique harmony of Hinduism and indigenous Balinese beliefs. In this blog, we will take you to embark on a spiritual and cultural journey as we explore ten amazing temples in Bali that provide an amazing opportunity to experience the island’s deep-rooted traditions.

From the moment you set foot on this island, you’ll feel yourself immersed in the mystical aura that surrounds the temples in Bali. Every temple tells a story, preserves ancient rituals, and exudes a sense of serenity that transcends the ordinary. We’ll take you on a virtual tour of these architectural marvels. We’ll enlighten you with their historical significance, unique features, and the spiritual practices that put life into their sacred stones.

In this blog, you’ll discover temples like Uluwatu, perched dramatically on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean; Besakih, known as the “Mother Temple” and the largest complex of its kind on this island; and Tanah Lot, the magnificent sea temple that seems to float on the water during high tide. Furthermore, we’ll delve into lesser-known gems that offer a more intimate and authentic experience of the Balinese culture.

Whether you want to explore the heart and soul of Bali or to uncover the spiritual essence of this island, our journey through these ten amazing Balinese temples will be an enlightening and awe-inspiring adventure. Be prepared to immerse yourself in the wonderful tapestry of Bali’s culture and spirituality as we explore the stories, traditions, and beauty that lie within these sacred grounds.

10 Amazing Balinese Temples

A tropical state of mind in itself, Bali makes you think of paradise, doesn’t it? But it’s not just the beaches, surfing, diving and resorts great and small, which makes it a fun-in-the-sun retreat. This Indonesian island is full of fascinating Balinese Temples for you to explore. It’s the essence of Bali and the rich Balinese culture that keeps calling you back.

Balinese culture is a unique mix of Hindu-Buddhist religion and Balinese customs. Thus, the Balinese have lots of different temples (almost 20,000!) and lots of different religious ceremonies attached to them. Experience the Bali culture by visiting temples decorated with wood carvings and statues.

Lempuyang Temple

Pura Penataran Lempuyang, Bali

Locally called Pura Lempuyang Luhu is one of the oldest and one of the highly regarded temples of Bali. Also called “The Gateway to Heaven”, it is located in the slope of Mount Lempuyang, almost 600 metres above sea level.  Get the best views while climbing a steep staircase of over 1,700 steps and experience unforgettable sunrise lighting up the sky with Mount Agung sitting prominently in the backdrop.

Gunung Kawi Temple

Pura Gunung Kawi Bali Balinese temples

This 11th-century temple’s another name is Pura Gunung Kawi. It is located at the bottom of a lush river valley running through the little town of Tampaksiring. One of the Bali’s most unique archaeological sites comprises of a collection of ancient ‘Candi’ or shrine reliefs carved into the face of a rock cliff.

While the main site overlooks the sacred Pakerisan River, the temple’s courtyard features old Hindu shrines in a more contemporary architectural style.

Tirta Empul Temple

Pura Tirta Empul, Bali

Located in Tampaksiring region, central Bali, Tirta Empul was built around 960 A.D. during the Warmadewa dynasty. The temple is one of the busiest and largest temples in Indonesia. The temple complex overlooks the presidential palace that was built for Soekarno, the first President of Indonesia, in 1954.

The bubbling spring on site (Tirta Empul means Holy Spring) gives a spiritual vibe of this place. As the name suggests, spring’s water is distributed to various purification pools that Balinese-Hindus use for their ritual bathing.

Also Read: Top 11 Offbeat Things To Do In Bali

Goa Lawah Temple

Pura Goa Lawah Temple in Bali

This Balinese Hindu temple is located in the village of Pesinggahan, Dawan district, Klungkung Regency and one of Bali’s most important temples.

Built around a cave, this cave temple is home to thousands of bats, and is famous for its healing waters and its stunningly intricate structures.

Taman Ayun Temple

Bali digital nomads

Located in Jalan Ayodya, Mengwi, Badung regency, Taman Ayun boasts magnificent traditional architectural and expansive landscapes with fish and lotus ponds.  As the name suggests, ‘Taman Ayun’ means ‘beautiful garden’, the temple complex consists of three courts, each being separated by split gates.

Built 17th century by the then ruler of the Mengwi kingdom, Taman Ayun underwent a significant restoration project in 1937. Towering tiers from the temple shrines are a gesture of the people of Mengwi’s reverence to their deified noble ancestors; for the temple complex is the ‘mother temple’ of Mengwi.

Goa Gajah Temple

Goa Gajah Temple Bali

Popular as ‘Elephant Cave’ this temple is near Ubud which is the artistic centre of Bali.  This temple was built in the 11th century and used to be a spiritual meditation site. You’ll get to see the relic-filled courtyard and the rock-wall carvings, a central meditational cave, bathing pools and fountains with this temple. Considered as one an archaeological site of significant historical value, don’t forget to visit the Elephant cave!

Besakih Temple

Pura Besakih Bali Indonesia

Known to be the Mother Temple of Bali, Besakih Temple is most important. It is the largest and holiest Hindu temple in Bali. It is perched at an altitude of about 1000 meters above sea level, on the southwestern slopes of Mount Agung.

This unique temple is an extensive complex of 23 separate but related temples. The largest and most important is Pura Penataran Agung (the Great Temple of State). It has six levels forming a continuous row up till the slope and a candi bentar (split gateway) marks its entrance.

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple

Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, Bali

Floating in the middle of the lake Beratan, Ulun Danu Beratan is truly a ‘heaven in a lake’. Since the lake is located in the highlands, the temple very often shrouded in mist and with fresh air; giving it a hazy and dreamy backdrop.

This picturesque landmark charms you with its striking scenery and cool atmosphere of these uplands making it perfect for rejuvenating your mind, body & soul.

Also Read: Bali Temple and Map Guide

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple Bali Balinese Temples

Built on the tip of a rock, Uluwatu Temple is categorised as one of the six main Hindu temples in Bali. Yes, this unique piece of architecture is located at the edge of a very steep cliff that is approximately 70 meters above sea level.

Take some memorable pictures during the golden sunset hours as the higher altitude of the temple provides broader seascapes.

Tanah Lot Temple

Balinese Temples
Pura Tanah Lot at sunset, Bali

Set offshore, this is another temple where watching sunsets is absolutely a delight. Built on a large coral rock, the temple is located on the coast of Beraban village in the Tabanan regency. Soak in the enchanting beauty of this old Hindu pilgrimage site set on top of an outcrop in the midst of always gushing waves.

Also Read: 5 Fun Activities to Do When You’re in Bali with Kids

Visiting these ten incredible Balinese temples is not just a sightseeing excursion. It’s also an immersive cultural experience. Each temple narrates a unique story, carries a distinct architectural style, and embodies the island’s rich heritage. The intricate carvings, ornate gateways, and mesmerizing sculptures in temples are a testament to the Balinese people’s dedication to preserving their traditions.

Moreover, the serene atmosphere within these temples gives a glimpse into the spiritual essence of Bali. Observing the locals as they make offerings, pray, and perform rituals is a humbling experience. Also, it’s through these encounters that one can truly appreciate the warmth and friendliness of the Balinese people.

Don’t forget you need to carry a scarf or a sarong while visiting the Balinese temples to cover up. They are also available for rent right at the entrance.

Final Remarks

Bali, a jewel in the Indonesian archipelago, is a destination popular for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture. One of the most remarkable facets of Balinese culture is its devotion to Hinduism. A plethora of temples scattered across the island wonderfully express this devotion. In our guide to these spiritual sanctuaries, we have explored the heart of Bali’s cultural tapestry. Additionally, the conclusion of our journey leaves us with a profound sense of amazement and appreciation.

As we conclude our exploration of these temples, it becomes evident that Bali’s culture is deeply intertwined with its religious practices. The harmonious coexistence of spiritual beliefs, daily life, and the natural world is a testament to the island’s unique way of life.

In these sacred spaces, we’ve experienced the tangible elements of Balinese culture. Also we have felt the intangible sense of peace and unity that adorns the island. This cultural journey through Bali’s temples reminds us of the beauty and diversity that exists in our world. Furthermore, we get to know the importance of preserving and respecting the traditions that enrich our lives.

In a nutshell, exploring Bali’s temples is not just a travel adventure. It’s a spiritual and cultural odyssey. It’s a chance to connect with the heart and soul of Bali, to gain a deeper understanding of its people, and to leave with lasting memories of a place where tradition and spirituality blend in absolute harmony.


What are the best temples to visit in Bali with family?

Bali has several family-friendly temples that give an enriching experience for all ages. Some of the best temples to visit with family include Uluwatu Temple, Tanah Lot Temple, Tirta Empul Temple, and Ulun Danu Beratan Temple. These temples are absolutely beautiful in their architecture and natural surroundings. Also, they provide cultural and historical insights that by both children and adults will find interesting.

Which is the oldest temple in Bali?

The Besakih Temple, famous as the “Mother Temple” of Bali, is considered one of the oldest and holiest temples on the island. It dates back to over a thousand years. Furthermore, it stands as a significant religious and cultural landmark in Bali.

What are the best ways to get around in Bali?

 Bali offers several transportation options for getting around the island. The best ways to get around Bali include renting a scooter or car, hiring a private driver, using ride-sharing apps like Grab or Gojek, and relying on traditional taxis. Additionally, exploring by bicycle and walking is also feasible, especially in areas with less traffic.

Can children visit temples in Bali?

 Yes, children are welcome to visit most temples in Bali. However, it’s important to ensure that they are respectful of the sacred space and adhere to dress code requirements if any. Some temples may have age restrictions or specific rules. Therefore it’s advisable to check in advance. Also, it’s an excellent opportunity for children to learn about Balinese culture and spirituality.

How many temples are in Bali?

Bali is popular as the “Island of a Thousand Temples.” While it’s difficult to determine the exact number, the island is indeed home to thousands of temples. These range from small family shrines to grand and iconic complexes.

Which temple is famous in Bali?

 One of the most famous temples in Bali is Tanah Lot. Perched on a rocky outcrop in the sea, it’s popular for its splendid sunset views and is a must-visit attraction for travellers.

What is the largest Balinese temple?

 The largest temple in Bali is Pura Besakih. It’s not only the largest but also the most important and holiest temple complex on the island.

What is a temple called in Balinese?

 “Pura” is the word for temple in Balinese.

Which God is Worshipped in Bali?

 The primary deity worshipped in Bali is Lord Shiva, who represents the Supreme God in the Hindu faith practiced on the island. Additionally, worshipping of other Hindu Gods is also prevalent in various temples.

What is Bali best known for?

Bali is famous for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, vibrant culture, and welcoming hospitality. It’s a popular destination for tourists wanting a mix of natural beauty, rich cultural experiences, and a laid-back atmosphere.


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